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The Paxton City Council approved by a 4-2 vote the creation of an eighth Class C liquor license that will allow all kinds of alcohol to be served at a business that will also feature gaming machines. Businessman Blake Johnson requested the license because he wants to investigate opening such a site at 763 E. Pells out of the building he owns where his wife Patty operates the Animal House, a dog grooming service.

Johnson said the grooming fills just one-third of the building. He said obtaining the license is a good investment at $1000 as he analyzes whether the operation would make economic sense for him. “There is a 30 percent chance this won’t happen,” Johnson said.

Alderman Mike Wilson said he thought the city did not want to encourage further gaming in the city. Several years ago the council turned down such a project for the site where Ropp’s Flower Factory sits on far S. Market St.

“I won’t do anything that will have a negative effect on Paxton,” Johnson said, who also owns a barbershop downtown. Wilson and Alderman Rob Pacey voted against granting the license.

Also the council agreed to purchase a new street sweeper. Key Equipment & Supply, Co. Bridgeton, MO, will sell the city a 2015 Elgin Pelican NP model for $135,000. There is already $120,000 designated for the purchase in the equipment replacement fund and the city will be granted a $7500 trade-in for its old machine.

Employee Bob Carleton said the new machine will be a major improvement over the current machine. It will have a sealed cab with a window at the operator’s feet to monitor brush movement and an auto-greaser function. A brand-new machine would have cost $230,000.

Also, Pacey explained some changes to the city’s tree ordinance. Those include that “topping” is not allowed, that planting native trees is preferred, and that residents must have city permission to plant a tree on city right-of-way and arborists who work in the city must be licensed, bonded and insured.

Pacey also said that the city will split the cost with residents if they want a certain tree planted in front of their houses. Mayor Bill Ingold said a major push this year will be taking out 15-20 trees in Pells Park and replacing them. Paxton is a Tree City USA community. Pacey said Extension foresters who visited town several years ago said the city has millions of dollars’ worth of trees growing in its right-of-way.

Also the council agreed to spend $2259 to replace a radio repeater for the ERS. Supreme Radio Communications, Inc. Bloomington, will provide that. Also, the annual maintenance contract with Fulton Fire Services, Marengo, for $1358 was approved.

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